Tonawanda News

Columns

December 29, 2013

DUVALL: Duck Dynasty's free speech, free market lesson

Tonawanda News — I’ve been loathe to talk about this topic, much less go on the record with my opinion because I think it’s beneath readers of this column and this newspaper — substantive readers of anything, for that matter.

The world of “OMG! Insider” disagrees. So does Fox News (and that should give you an idea of just where the Fox folks rank in terms of media credibility) so I’ll take the bait.

So here it goes: The guy from “Duck Dynasty” is an idiot. To me and the silent majority of Americans who support equal rights for gays and lesbians, his beliefs are backwards, inflammatory, bigoted. Whether they’re rooted in his religion or just good, old-fashioned ignorance matters not to me.

And I fully support his right to believe them. I even support his right to spout them to his heart’s content. It’s a free country, after all.

You think all gays are going to hell? Fine. I think you’re a moron. 

Hardly the sort of high-minded discourse the Founding Fathers envisioned when writing the First Amendment, but what did you expect when our starting point is the patriarch of a backwoods family who rose to prominence thanks to duck whistles, ridiculous facial hair and reality television?

Here’s the thing: Since when did the First Amendment protect speakers who say something stupid or offensive from the consequences?

By now we all know Paul Robertson was “suspended” from the show — even though it wasn’t filming at the time — for his remarks in a magazine interview. The Sarah Palin types jumped to his defense, crying foul that free speech was in peril. 

Excuse me? This dolt is elevated from obscurity to a national platform for no meritorious reason, uses it to spew inflammatory rhetoric about a minority group and you’re saying his rights have been violated?

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